OSU regents unanimously approve vote to remove name on Murray Hall

Murray Hall

Murray Hall is home to OSU's Department of Geography. The building is named after William H. Murray, the ninth governor of Oklahoma.

The OSU board of regents has approved the removal of the name "Murray" from both Murray Hall and North Murray Hall.

The board approved the decision unanimously in a vote in its meeting on Friday morning.

This decision is due to William H. “Alfalfa Bill” Murray-- the building’s namesake and ninth governor of Oklahoma-- having a record of advocacy for racist policies including segregation and the promotion of Jim Crow laws.

"I know there's been a great deal of discussion about (removing the name)," OSU regent Doug Burns said. "I would just like to say I'm very proud of the process and the way it has worked. This is a process that began many months ago, its been very deliberative. The process was designed not to be a knee-jerk reaction, but to allow input from persons who might have some input that could be issued and I'm proud that it has been open, it has been deliberative, its been based upon fact in our region's history.

It's something that, I think, all of us should be very proud of."

This action was recommended to the board by the Student Government Association, facilities and OSU President Burns Hargis.

“Today’s decision to remove Murray’s name from our campus is an important step to eliminate any actual or symbol of racism on OSU’s campus,” said Hargis. “For many in the OSU family, the building’s name has invoked reminders of a painful past. I appreciate the leadership demonstrated by students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the unanimous action the Regents took today to remove the name.”

There has not been a decision on who the new namesake of the buildings will be.

In early June, an online petition was started to change Murray Hall's name by Stillwater resident Samantha Harris. In just two weeks, it gained over 5,300 signatures. 

"I am very excited to see the name being changed," Harris said. "I owe a debt of gratitude to every person who signed and supported this petition. We came together as a community and caused tangible change."